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Halo 4 Case Study

Rob Miller | Tuesday January 08, 2013

Categories: GCSE, AQA GCSE, Games, Computer Games, Machinima, Video Games, Timeline, Key Concepts, Audience, Genre, Ideology, Institutions, Media Language, Narrative, Representation & Stereotyping, Hot Entries, New Media, Convergence, Digital Media, New Technologies, Synergy, Other Topics, Iconography

Production and Distribution

Halo is a commercially successful, science fiction FPS game that was first developed in November 2001 for Microsoft X Box. Versions were developed for Windows and MAC OS X but fundamentally it now remains exclusive to the X Box 360, the second console developed by Microsoft and as such, has received critical success for being one of the best first person shooters on a video game console. Some gamers prefer the format and mode to the successful COD (Call of Duty), also a FPS and similar in terms of high production values, suggesting the game has a more balanced environment.

The game was developed by Bungie in 2001 but is now managed by 343 Industries and owned and published by the global conglomerate Microsoft. Bungie sold Halo to concentrate on other games but like Blizzard with World of Warcraft are solely associated with the development of the project. Bungie now (January 2013) work under the Activision Blizzard banner. Bungie flirted with both Microsoft and Apple when they first announced the game in 1999 to the point that it was one of the key releases at Macworld Expo that same year. Microsoft brought Bungie in 2000 however with the sole objective of developing
Halo for their new X Box console.

The first Halo, Halo: Combat Evolved sold an impressive 6.5 million copies and was so well received that two sequels were announced by Bungie, Halo 2 in 2004 which made $124 m on release day surpassed by Halo 3 in 2007 which made $170 m in the same 24 hour cycle. Once Halo 4 was released in November 2012, this figure set further records by making a stunning $220 m in just one day.

Marketing and Promotion

Microsoft have aggressively advertised Halo over the years with cross media and online campaigns underpinned by high production value television adverts in expensive spots foregrounding the graphics and production values of the game itself. Younger target audiences were and are the mainstay of who the...


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